FIFA World Cup fans in Qatar admit that the atmosphere is different without alcohol but are not unanimous as to whether it’s good or bad, as per AFP.
Some feel that the absence of alcoholic beverages in stadiums has detracted from the atmosphere inside and outside stadiums. Meanwhile, others say makes no difference and is even an improvement by making the tournament more family-friendly.
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The sale of alcohol was banned just a couple of days before it started in a policy U-turn. Nonetheless, one can get alcohol at fan zones and inside most international hotels.
“It has brought some positivity to the World Cup,” said Ghana fan Assenso Ata Peter.
“The conduct of the supporters has been so very good, so nice because they are not drinking alcohol,” he added
“If we continue with this, the tournament can continue to be successful every time,” he went on to say.
Mike and Luke, who are Australian fans, were clutching water and soft drinks as they saw South Korea and Portugal face off.
“It’s hard, it’s hard, it definitely takes the edge off the atmosphere, it’s not as… it’s different,” said Luke.
“It’s more like a family atmosphere as opposed to a party atmosphere — you’ve got families, kids, they’re the ones that are doing the cheering,” said Mike.
“I suspect some of the atmosphere would be higher if alcohol existed but generally it’s not very different with alcohol or not,” said Kang Yong-ki from Korea.
“But of course, it’s good for families,” he added.
“I really don’t care, I’m just here to watch Cristiano Ronaldo,” said “Amanda” from Lebanon, who did not reveal her true identity.
“I don’t know why the world is making such a big deal of it,” she added.
“I think in some ways when people have had a drink, the edges can get a bit blurred and it might create issues among football fans,” said Kevin Hall, who travelled to see England play.
“Whereas if you’re sober, you’re less inclined to have confrontation. We’ve not seen any confrontation whatsoever — you’re all mixing coming out of the ground. We’ve been to other tournaments and I think this one is more diverse than any other in terms of youngsters,” he added.